Bob Dylan Revelations

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You know your audience, especially as you grow older. Who will

listen to your singing, if not the ones who grew up listening and

singing along with your songs. I was so proud of my copy of the

February and March combination of “AARP Magazine.” I am

one who studies the cover, reveling in another famous face being

on the cover. This one has Bob Dylan. He expressly called and

asked to be interviewed saying he wanted to make this his ONLY

magazine interview of his newest  album, (oldest song choices.)

 

Bob Dylan looks intensely inside the magazine with deep blue

glowing and warm eyes. He doesn’t seem as old when you see

him in the photographs. The interviewer chosen for this special

time spent together talking, asking and answering questions is

Robert Love. This special assignment was one he will remember

for the rest of his life, an “exclusive” no one else is going to get.

 

At 73 years old, he is only a little over a dozen years older than

I am. With his sunglasses on, you may not expect him to have

such clear eyes. Those piercing blue, “bedroom eyes” on page

28 of the magazine will stop you in your tracks, man or woman

as the viewer. He was born to be a balladeer and storyteller,

through his ability to sing, connect with people and last through

all these years, coming to one of his Grand Finales.

 

Haunting, lyrical, beautiful and classical.  Everyone sings some of

the old songs, ones our parents knew and sang. Tony Bennett

captured Lady Gaga, making her his Queen or Princess over the

course of their recording sessions.

 

The songs Bob Dylan has chosen are only Ten in number. I will

get this album and listen to it, believing in his ability to carry

this off.

 

First, let’s listen to Bob Dylan’s own personal list of favorite singers

and musicians. Well, he added other people he respects for their

contributions to the world:

1. Frank Sinatra

2. Irving Berlin

3. Jimmie Rodgers

4. Billy Graham (for his ability to fill great stadiums and preach it,

along with Bob Dylan saying he feels, “Amazing Grace” is one of

his favorite songs of all time.)

5. Chuck Berry

6. Shakespeare

7. Johnny Mercer

8. Mavis Staples

9. Nancy Sinatra

 

Of his own favorites he has sung, Bob Dylan claims the best he ever

sang and ‘worthy of being considered someday a classic’ is:

1997’s “Love Sick,” which won three Grammy Awards, including

“Album of the Year” for “Time Out of Mind.”

Why is it magnificent? (My word, not the interviewer’s.)

He answers this, “The center theme is given as ‘it’s not dark yet, but

it’s getting there.'”

 

This is deep, you may wish t0 think about why the world is getting

darker. He went on to tell Robert Love if there were any other

profession he would have chosen to go into it would have been

to ‘do it all over again as. . .’

“A school teacher of Roman history or theology.”

 

Did you know that Darius Rucker sang a song Bob Dylan began and

had written most of the lyrics of? This old song, “Wagon Wheel,”

was completed by “The Old Crow Medicine Show” team of writers.

 

Here is Bob Dylan’s songs from his newest album, “Shadows in the

Night.”  These ten songs he considers Classic and Timeless. He calls

them clearly defined as part of the beloved American Songbook:

1. “I’m a Fool To Want You.”

2. “The Night We Called It a Day.”

3. “Stay with Me.”

4. “Autumn Leaves.”

5. “Why Try to Change Me Now.”

6. “Some Enchanted Evening.”

7. “Full Moon and Empty Arms.”

8. “Where Are You?”

9. “What’ll I Do?”

10. “That Lucky Old Sin.”

 

These song are ones you may have heard at your grandparents, you

may have heard on your parents’ stereo or maybe in your dreams.

I have heard almost all of these, know the lyrics and can sing along

to the words, my parents used to listen to these on the radio, as

we traveled down the road to visit my grandparents or going to

my aunt and uncle’s house. There is one I have included in a post

before. (“Some Enchanted Evening” from the musical, “South

Pacific.”) They may not be recognizable by their titles, but the

first notes will “call” to your soul, your heart or bring back a

memory.

 

Bob Dylan has written over the years, “dozens” of songs that

were made famous and performed by other artists. Here’s

just a few:

“You Ain’t Going Nowhere,” performed by The Byrds.

“The Mighty Quinn,” by Manfred Mann.

“I Shall Be Released,” by The Band.

 

I have never been to a Bob Dylan concert. For this, I am sad.

 

If you wish to read an intelligent man’s thoughts, listen to him

describe his roots and childhood, you will want to read more.

He is very articulate, descriptive and emotional. I felt like Bob

Dylan, himself, was sharing a pot of coffee with me and talking

directly with me! How smart and creative was Dylan? Well,

imagine this. . .

Bob Dylan has written, sung and performed all of these songs

before the age of 25!

~ “Blowin’ in the Wind,” (written in 1962, released in 1963 on

“Freewheeling Bob Dylan,” album.

~ “Mr. Tambourine Man,”

~ “Like a Rolling Stone.”

 

Speaking of “Rolling Stone,” I will tell you I have read their

magazine over many years. They have captured sides and

dimensions of Bob Dylan. You may wish to read their past

interviews to find out more about him, but this older and

wiser sounding Bob Dylan, in the “AARP Magazine” which

is Feb./March edition, is wondrous in its surprises, ones I

have left for you to find, ponder on and treasure.

 

Quick perceptions which I have not totally given yet to you

from my perspective. Bob Dylan is…

a. One of my favorite Legendary Singers.

b. Humble.

c. Grateful.

d. One of his famous appearances, winning a Presidential

Honor Award,  he walked around the room, greeted others

who were so excited he was there (other honorees), shook

hands, completed the ceremony then politely and quietly

exited.

 

To read the actual interview, the words Robert Love chose to

describe and the questions he asked and talked with Bob Dylan,

check the complete article on:

http://aarp.org

 

Did anyone ever get a chance to see his own personal gypsy

caravan?  Did anyone ever see the Rolling Thunder Revue, of

1975?  This was immediately after he produced, “Blood on the

Tracks.”

Do you know the stars that traveled around the country in this

fine group of musicians?

Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Roger McGuinn, T-Bone Burnett

and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott with Bob Dylan.

 

Would you please share your favorite Bob Dylan song?

 

 

 

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50 responses »

  1. wow, that’s so cool that he chose that mag for his interview. he’s the ultimate poet songwriter in my book. love a lot of his songs, and recently fell in love with ‘one more cup of coffee’ which i’d never heard. check it out if you have the chance )

    • I need to check this out, Beth!
      I will write it down and on my way to one of the two birthday parties, either oldest daughter will put it on her phone or youngest one will. I have Kyah’s (one of the M & M girls: “Makyah”) bowling party on Sat. with Skyler, Micah and oldest daughter. Then, on Sunday, my youngest daughter is driving up and off for the day, to accompany me to Micah’s pool party. Kyah turned 4 and Micah turned 6, we looked at weather and timing, planning these two out.

      Thanks for the fun song title and so glad you sent me to this, Beth. Also, finding him to be as ‘cool’ as I believe Bob Dylan to be.

  2. I once quoted lines right here in one of your comment sections from End of the Line by the Travelin’ Wilburys. There are so many to choose from, but my favorite song based on its depth, complexity and originality has to be Subterranean Homesick Blues.

    I remember him quoting some of the lyrics in an interview with the late Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes when he was 63. (You can find this interview on YouTube.) Ed asked him if he ever looked back on all those songs and wondered where they came from. Dylan said, ‘No. I used to, but I don’t do that anymore. Those early songs were almost magically written.’

    When asked where he came up with his lyrics, Dylan thought for awhile before he replied, ‘I guess they just come from that wellspring of creativity.’ After producing over 500 songs and 40 albums, that has been quite a wellspring!
    – Mike

    • Wow, good memory and so glad you did this once before and didn’t mind sharing some more facts here. I have posted about Bob Dylan before but am always open to learning something new, too about all sorts of subjects, Mike. You DID share about the Travelin’ Willbury’s before!

      I also need to write this song down. I will have to get one of my two helpful daughters to play it while we are driving to two different birthday parties.my granddaughter from my son and his wife, turned 4 and celebrates tomorrow, (Saturday). It is a bowling party. My grandson, from my oldest daughter, turned 6 and his is on Sunday. Youngest daughter has the day off from her busy schedule, so will be up here on Sunday to drive with me to the YMCA pool. Busy lives but this is perfect, since we won’t be having snow or ice to have to travel through.

      Thanks so much, Mike for the Ed Bradley interview facts. I enjoy reading this so much and welcome your information. You might say you are a ‘wellspring’ for my blog, Mike! (I think so, anyway!) Smiles, Robin

  3. One of the shows where he sang his absolute best was the Christian tour – best heard on ‘Slow Train Coming’, and on ‘Saved’ – saw him that time from the front row 4 nights in a row, in a 2500 seat place – quite great
    he’s also mentioned that he reads quite a lot, Thucydides being one of note

    didn’t see Rolling Thunder but did talk a lot with Allen Ginsberg who spent a lot of time with Dylan, and we talk ed about a lot of that stuff, among other things

    and much more – good to see this

    • Dean, I am embarrassed that your comments were placed in my Pending Approval area of wordpress. I am honored you took time out of your busy schedule to write about Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg and how you watched the Christian tour of Bob Dylan. This is a fantastic memory and lots of fun stuff here! I wish that I could have been a fly on the wall, during your talks with Allen Ginsberg. It is the same with my Dad’s connections with the Ancient Astronaut ‘crew’ that met in Chicago, Illinois. I wish I could remember more than ‘snippets’ of my Dad’s comments after his meetings. We all would go to Chicago, he to meetings and when he came back we would head to museums and restaurants. Carl Sagen, Kurt Van Daniken and others… He would sometimes tell me one was a genuis, one was a show man and another really creative.
      I like that Bob Dylan sounded wise and this makes sense, when you added that he reads a lot.

    • I don’t blame you, I am like this about a few famous people, Jen! My brother likes obscure songs sung by Tom Petty, ones I really sometimes don’t even ‘get.’ I listen and feel honored if he says, “Robin, you need to listen to this.”
      I am so glad my kids and grandkids listen to what I consider “our generation’s music.” I am pleased to learn new songs and facts about the ‘oldies’ and the ‘up and coming singers,’ too!

  4. Bob Dylan is by far, my favorite singer, his music just rings with me so well. I can’t single out any one song of his that I like the most, I like so many – Tambourine man, a hard rains a gonna fall, times are a changin, desolation row, like a rolling stone… Oh I love them all, especially the ones he sang in the 60s..

    • I am so happy that you found this post about Bob Dylan and all of your lovely songs you listed, I enjoy too. I am not sure why when I follow your blog and we have written back and forth on our posts, that your comment was in the Pending Approval area of wordpress. I am so sorry, I don’t check these out too often. Your comments were lovely!

      • It’s alright Robin, no worries at all… wordpress does this at times. has happened with me too.. thanks for this post about Bob Dylan, his music steals the show for me. And thanks so much for responding to all these comments, I can understand how they would’ve fallen in one huge pile, could seem rather intimidating to respond to one by one, so I thank you deeply for taking the time and effort. Wish you a pleasant day and many smiles.

  5. I love Bob Dylan – I came to really appreciate him later in life even though I grew up with his music. One of my favourites is the song he wrote for his baby son ‘Forever Young’ But there are many more!

    • Oh, Pauline, thanks so much for sharing this song. It is one that was used for a television show that just ended and every time the song would start playing, I would cry. (“Parenthood” had an extended family which included grandparents, Bonnie Bedelia and the man from the old t.v. show, “Coach.” I can picture his face. . .I liked it while I was teaching special ed preschoolers, since one of the main characters was autistic. The show ended with a good and happy time, the setting of a wedding.)
      It is funny how music can mean so much and not be sad, but just bring me to tears. I think of my own children, my parents and family, then I think of the concept behind “Forever Young.” This song encompasses a wide spectrum of emotions and I am so glad you mentioned it, too!

  6. I have to agree with Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra is one of my favorites too. If he were still alive, he’d be turning 100 in December…hard to believe. Although I love, Mr. Tambourine Man, my most favorite song is, The Times They Are a-Changin.

    • Jill, “The Times They Are a-Changin,” is a fantastic anthem song.I really liked how you chose Frank Sinatra, too. His singing came out effortlessly and yet so beautifully. The tone in his voice is excellent and I love so many of his songs, too. I like “Mr. Tambourine Man,” too. It is an upbeat song with a lot of rhythm, perfect for getting my body to shake and move around! Smiles and hope you have a wonderful weekend, Jill.

  7. I’m a Bob Dylan fan too, and sadly I have to admit, that me too, I never was at one of his concerts. Your post is great, thank you for the information.

    • I enjoyed your comment and hope to see your blog, too. So sorry that I had you in Pending Approval, so did not read this until today. I need to be better at checking these out!

  8. My life-long anthem has been: “Don’t Think Twice; It’s All Right.” Also love “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and many others.
    My favorite Dylan moment was in 2000 when he was featured on the Academy Awards show and won for “Best Original Song,” “Things Have Changed,” from the film with MIchael Douglas, “Wonder Boys.”
    This song contained the repeated line: “I used to care, but things have changed,” which he sang without irony, therefore making it more ironic. He played with his band on a screen (I think they were in Australia for that night, not LA), wearing, of all things, a full tux. Hilarious. At the time of the performance, he didn’t yet know he had won, which made his win all the funnier, since he wasn’t there to pick up the award.
    Was I the only one laughing with him? It was his first and only Emmy award, for the song that repeatedly claimed: “I used to care, but things have changed.”

    • I am so blessed with this unique vision of Bob Dylan. Thank you for all the neat details, Sally!
      So iconic and ironic, too. I won’t be able to visit your posts today but will tomorrow, I promise. Our library closes at 6:00 p.m. I write my blog and answer as many people’s comments and visit hundreds of posts almost every day. I will be back…

    • Elizabeth, totally understand and there is another person who mentioned this, too. Another said they acquired a taste as they aged. It is interesting, since music is different to each listener. I have changed my mind about a few, both positively and negatively over the years. Thanks for the honest comment and I am glad you respect Bob Dylan, whether you enjoy listening to him or not. I shall be back tomorrow to the library to read. Then, two birthday parties to attend… smiles! Have a great weekend, Elizabeth.

    • I enjoyed Ed Ames and his style of singing. You know what? Ed Ames did an excellent job of portraying the Native American in the Cleveland Playhouse, Broadway production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Jonathan. A fine actor and singer!

  9. I must say that your writing of this post is really good. You gave me thoughts about the first Bob Dylan song that I ever heard. I think the year was 1964, and the song was “Like A Rolling Stone.” The usual length of rock and roll songs at that time was about two minutes, and maybe a few seconds over that.But, this Dylan song was more like 4:24. It was “very different” from the other songs of that day. I remember that I would spend a lot of summers with my grand parents in Augusta, GA; my home was in New Orleans, LA. Each summer I would be treated to “rides” by girl friends, or “friend girls” who seemed to like me (My mother, brother, sister and I would travel to Augusta on a Greyhound Bus. So, I was at the mercy of my “friend girls.” It was a tough job, but
    “somebody had to do it !” Am I supposed to put “lol.” (I’m still learning). I’ll just say that Janice and MaryEllen were “super!!!!” Those were special times of my life, and Bob Dylan gave me something else to think about whenever Janice of Mary Ellen were not around (I really did not like those times of being “girl-less”). So, now you know my “sordid” past. Thanks for the prompt for the memories.

    • I am always pleased for those to reminisce and thank you so much for the details of your youth. It sounds tame to me and not at all, “Sordid!” Smiles and hope you have a wonderful weekend, my dear!

      • You are definitely too kind with your words. But, I will have to admit that when people have asked me if I have a story about my past life before accepting Christ as my Savior, I always have to say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have a story!” I will have to say that “my boring life was the result of a good home and a track coach that would never let me get away with anything that would not look good. But, I am thankful that things worked out the way that I did. It was nothing special about me. I lived in a neighborhood in New Orleans that was a Fonzie area of town. I could have easily gotten in all kinds of trouble there,and posted on your blog “all kinds of sorded things”of my past. Thank you for your kindness and please have a blessed weekend, yourself. Also, I forgot if you moderate your comments. Please let me know. Thanks, again and again and again.

  10. Isn’t if fun that AARP is cool to read now? They certainly have changed their rep, as more of us reach the age of deniability. I’m about your age, and like you, I love reading the words of entertainers I’ve enjoyed throughout my life, who are new sensing a new freedom once the age of AARP. Your synopsis of Dylan’s interview is wonderful. I just don’t get why he added Nancy Sinatra as one of his favorite singers…?????

    • I wonder if he was thinking of his respect for Frank Sinatra? At least, he added Mavis Staples. I know he had quality in his friendships with women, too.
      I am smiling since I ran to get my subscription when I had heard Bob was going to be giving an exclusive interview. It is so funny because my good girlfriend shared this with her circle of high school friends, they had lunch together. It has definitely ‘made the rounds!’ I am glad we are so much more active than others in the past in our fifties (or you may be in your forties, you look like thirties… smiles!) Have a fantastic weekend, I shall be reading tomorrow all because I blog at the library and it closes at 6!

    • Thanks for this Bob Dylan song reference. I am glad you didn’t mind telling us about your personal friend, Floyd. This is so nice you stay in touch with his daughter. Sorry about your losing this special friend.

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